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  1. There is an aesthetics blog, Aesthetics for Birds: The American Society for Aesthetics maintains a Facebook group which mainly features announcements from members about events concerning all the arts:
  2. I complain a lot about the Lincoln Center Festival, so I should report that an e-mail announcing the season with information on pre-sale just arrived Wednesday afternoon. Better late than never!
  3. Typical of Lincoln Center Festival: I am a member of Friends of Lincoln Center and re-sign up each year to be on the Festival e-mailing list. But the first I'm hearing about this year's festival is a NY times article and the web page. No email to Friends...
  4. Some consolation, but still far from what other companies offer. Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Colorado all let subscribers and friends pick their own seats from seating charts before the general public, using a code they are sent to log in or by logging into your friends account first. I, for one, like to see what's available in several sections I prefer and pick my favorite option for each, for about a dozen programs during the two-week season.
  5. But you can't pick out your own seat, unless they just changed that from previous years.
  6. The company just posted this obituary on their web site:
  7. Friends of Covent Garden just sent out e-mail that they will announce the 2017-18 season on April 5. I'm hoping for good scheduling for the new Twyla Tharp to Haydn, shown on a Steve McCrae Instagram:
  8. This was just sent out by e-mail: The School of American Ballet is very pleased to announce the 2017 Workshop Performances, taking place on Saturday, June 3rd at 2:00pm and 8:00pm and Monday, June 5 at 7:00pm. . . . This year's program . . . will feature: Scènes de Ballet Music by Igor Stravinsky Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon Hallelujah Junction Music by John Adams Choreography by Peter Martins Scotch Symphony Music by Felix Mendelssohn Choreography by George Balanchine Performance tickets will go on sale to the public at in mid-April.
  9. I don't fault ABT for using the English translation in hopes that more people would be likely to consider buying tickets. It's not so unusual to change names for that purpose. Some of us are still trying to understand why J.K. Rowlings' first book was sold in the UK as "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" but renamed for US sales to ". . . Sorcerer's Stone." Did they think "philosopher" would be too high-brow and intimidating?
  10. A few more thoughts, triggered by comments from others: Duster spent a lot of time with Cuban company and noted their emphasis on perfect unison in the corps - something she wants to work on. Corella said he would like to do their own sets and costumes someday. These were rented from elsewhere. It was strange that so few took final bows - leads plus 6 corps men. No women from jardin. And the two little boys who joined jardin (same boys at every performance ) deserved their own bows. Sz: those were definitely Corella's own Ali pants, as per the Preludes program Saturday.
  11. I'm in Philadelphia for the first weekend (5 performances) of their new Le Corsaire. For those of you on the east coast, this is definitely worth the trip for the remaining four next weekend. My favorite Medora was Mayara Pineiro, one of the dancers Angel Corella brought in. She was also my favorite in the new Don Quixote last year. So much sparkle, fabulous technique, really exciting to see. She was just as terrific as Gulnare opening night on Thursday. For this ballet, she was partnered by Aleksey Babayev, still a corps member, who turned out to be my favorite of the male dancers. He also did a sizzling Ali Sunday afternoon. Other stand-outs: Jermel Johnson, a long-time company member, who did Lankendem opening night and nothing else (although most seemed to be doing two or even three roles). Arian Molina Soca as Conrad opening night, Lankendem on Friday, and Ali Saturday matinee. Sterling Baca as Ali on opening night, Conrad on Friday, and Lankendem on Saturday night. Mixed performances: Peter Weil on Friday night as Ali had a visible problem lifting Medora overhead near the beginning of the pas de trois in Act II. He seemed to hesitate half way up, then did a deep knee bend and hoisted her the rest of the way. As if to make amends, he was on fire in his variations that followed and was an audience favorite. On Saturday night, Albert Gordon as Ali didn't even try that lift - Aaron Anker as Conrad did it both at the beginning and end of the pas de trois, clearly planned ahead of time. A really nice audience outreach feature: one hour before every performance, they have something called "preludes" open to all ticket holders with a different guest speaker at each and hosted by the marketing manager. Saturday matinee was a special treat, with Corella himself answering questions. He explained that when the rented costumes arrived, he didn't like the costume for Ali so he brought in his personal Ali costume that he had used during his dancing career! All the dancers in that role are wearing it. So if they look familiar, that's why. He also said he wanted the three Odalisques in the third act, so there was more dancing in that act (other than the Jardin Animee). We learned that although Ali is routinely called a "slave," that word has disappeared from the program; Ali is now a "servant." The marketing department took responsibility for that change. At the session with Samantha Dunster (assistant artistic director), we learned that many of the non-dancing extras are parents of students at the Academy, as Corella thought they needed different ages in the crowd. Pasha at all performances is Jon Martin, a teacher at the Academy. The production moves very briskly, with a minimum of mime: 2 hours and 10 minutes, including two intermissions. The sets and costumes were rented, reportedly created originally for the now-defunct International Ballet in Indianapolis. The impressive sets drew audience applause when the curtain went up. The costumes were fine, except for a peculiar tutu on the Odalisques, Gulnare in Act I, and Jardin. The skirt would have reached down to the knee except for a stiff hoop about half way down on the underside. That resulted in some unfortunate developments in partnering when the skirt flipped up toward Gulnare's face. They looked like lampshades with odd fringes to me. Casting for all performances is in the printed program for the run. If I could only go to one more performance, it would be next Saturday evening with Pineiro and Babayev as Medora and Conrad, and Soca as Ali. Sterling Baca fans can see him next Friday as Ali, Saturday matinee as Conrad, and Sunday matinee as Lankendem.
  12. The $60 basic membership at Kennedy Center is a good deal -- priority ticket buying and lots of reminders when those come up on the schedule:
  13. I've been a member of the Friends of Lincoln Center for several years (at the lowest level - $100 - mainly to get some slight priority in buying tickets). They are really awful at sending out information to Friends about upcoming summer Festival events. I usually find out about them some other way (this site, e.g.!) We have been told about Jewels (repeatedly!), but nothing else.
  14. Tickets for $39 are for sale on Goldstar-Philadelphia - but only for the final Sunday performance. Perhaps they are optimistic about last-minute rush or have given a lot of tickets to student groups. It occurs to me that serious balletomanes know Corsaire has lots of juicy roles for principals and soloists and is fun to see. But it's not as well-known as, say, Swan Lake or Nutcracker for newbies. So next season goes overboard on work that newcomers are likely to consider attending.
  15. Most modern companies don't perform in large opera houses. Even NYCB needs to bring in the money with Nutcracker to support the rest of the season. And Philadelphia is so close to New York, that serious ballet lovers looking for new work have easy access there. Others here noted a lot of unsold seats for Corsaire, which opens this Thursday, and you have to think there's pressure all around to bring in more audiences next year with sure-things.